Chiappa Firearms was showing off their new series of Rhino revolvers at the 2010 SHOT Show. When you see the Rhino for the first time, you know that it is definitely a different revolver than what you have known previously.
The Rhino’s barrel is at the bottom, no the top, of the frame. The cartridge in the bottom of the cylinder is the one that fires. This design is supposed to reduce muzzle flip and enhance shooter comfort.
Four models of Chiappa were shown: a 2” DAO, 4”, 5” and 6”. All models except the 2” have a Picatinny rail under the barrel for a white light or laser attachment. All models except the 2” also have pinned front sights and adjustable rear sights. The 2” Rhino has fixed sights. All are chambered in .357 Magnum.
I have a few concerns about the Rhino.
First, the exposed “hammer” isn’t really a hammer. It is used to manually cock the internal hammer into single action mode. After you pull the “hammer” back, it then falls back into the “down” position. There is no way to know the gun is cocked and in single action mode.
Second, there is not a decocking lever. To decock the gun, you have to pull the trigger. According to the Chiappa rep, you can hold the exposed “hammer” back, pull the trigger and then lower the exposed hammer as you might on another single action revolver. But, the exposed “hammer” isn’t THE hammer. So I don’t know if this is a safe, or even effective, method of decocking the revolver once it is cocked.
Lastly, the trigger and cylinders were very stiff. This is likely due to the staff using early samples. However, I do not understand why you would bring less than your best product to a trade show. I hope that the production models will be smoother.
Retail runs from “about $750” to “about $950” depending on the model. Chiappa believes they will begin shipping later this year.
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